First Weather Day


It’s working day 2 here at Byrd camp, but unfortunately today has become a “weather day” – the forecast was not good enough for a survey flight, so everyone stayed in camp. After yesterday’s rough landing, the Basler pilot decided not to take any chances today. It ended up being a fairly nice morning, but now in the early afternoon, some low clouds are starting to move in and the skies are fully overcast. The temperature is dropping, too, and there are some snowflakes and “diamond dust” in the air.

I spent today trying to find things to keep me busy. I did some chores around the galley to pass time, shoveled snow for water, shoveled snow to uncover the fuel bladders, and checked on the generators we have providing ground power to our instruments.

In the meantime, I’ve been catching up on my reading, my Russian podcasts, and the coursework that I’m missing back in Austin. The last is kind of fun because I’m taking a geophysics class, so I’m learning more about geophysics every day since I ended up bringing the gigantic textbook with me so I could keep up while I was away. Other than that I’ve been doing menial tasks like bringing in things from the cargo pile to warm them up in case we need them later. Mostly more batteries, since you can never have too many spare batteries.

In short, there’s not a lot going on in general today. People are hanging out, wrapping up some loose ends, making software upgrades. Nothing too critical is happening at the moment. Everyone is just biding their time until we can get off the ground tomorrow.

The exciting part about today is mainly that I’ll be on the primary flight crew for tomorrow. So it’ll be my first flight, assuming the weather holds. The pattern lately has been good weather in the morning followed by poor weather starting in the mid afternoon. That fact, coupled with a 5am-5pm window to get good magnetics data, we’re looking at a 4:30am launch in the morning. Sounds like I’ll be heading to bed early.

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